Jack Jacob John Jack Booth: Dad

He was a good dad; as good of a dad as you can be when you’re an ice addict who’s dreams of being an astronaut end with you suffocating to death in your home made space helmet. He’d made it out of a plastic bag, filled with deodorant. I still feel queasy whenever I smell anything with rainforest in the name. The cops said he died chroming, but I was fifteen and just happy he died doing what he loved.

Mum left just after I was born. In a rare lucid moment Dad told me she’d run away to fuck a guy who invented a new type of vacuum that she’d seen on the TV, but on the way to the TV station she’d been hit by a used sanitary napkin transport truck and exploded in a big shower of meat. Even at age four I appreciated his candor.

It was just me and him until I was thirteen, and he got married to Big Sally Nijinsky, a fifteen year old who’d gotten rich selling cigarettes at my school and spent it almost exclusively on pavlova and ouzo.

They met at the leagues club one night when my dad was shitting on their front door, because they’d barred him the night before for shitting on their front door. Big Sally didn’t like me much and I didn’t really care for her either, but I put up with her because I knew dad loved her. She made me call her mum and never wore any clothes and just sat around eating pavlova and drinking ouzo. She used to call dad her ‘creamy fuck stallion’, even though dad was more or less a eunuch after the cops tazed him in the dick for shitting on the front door of the leagues club. She used to leave her used tampons everywhere, I reckon on purpose, and the only CD she owned was a soundtrack to The Lion King, but the karaoke version, so it was just bad midi keyboard with no vocals. She’s have it on repeat and sit in the loungeroom and stare at the carpet and not sing along. A kid at school told me her dad was in the karaoke business, so I felt kind of sorry for her.

My patience ran out when she messed with my comic. I’d been working my after school job, asking people for loose change in Civic, and just gotten home to read my comic. I only had one, and I’d saved up for it for a whole year. It was about a spaceman, like my dad, fighting aliens with huge tits on Mars. He mostly fought them with his dick. It was awesome. I opened it, and there was a big fat used tampon right in the middle of the pages. The blood had soaked all through the comic, and I realised it was all over my hands.

I stormed out of my room and I said I was leaving and never coming home, and that I wished Big Fuckface Sally Fucking Fuck Off Nijinsky would get eaten by a shark.

Luckily no one was home to hear, because a few years later Big Sally Nijinsky was at the aquarium after a few too many ouzos and she slipped and fell in the shark tank and was shot nine times by a well meaning security guard with undiagnosed glaucoma.

After I left I moved into a squat, and more or less stopped going to school to spend more time at work. I put most of the change in Dad’s mailbox, and one time I was hiding in the bushes and heard him say that space angels were mailing him drug money and I smiled at that.

I only saw dad one more time after that. We bumped into each other in a supermarket, and went to a park, our pockets brimming with tinned fish and a box of port. He was really happy to see me, and I was really happy to see him. He really quietly told me about Big Sally Nijinsky, and I felt really guilty, but also excited that I might have magical powers.

We talked for hours. Dad didn’t seem to have realised I’d moved out years ago but I caught him up on what I’d been doing and he seemed really proud of me. He was pretty high by the time it was dark, and said he had to go, because the leagues club was closing soon and he has a fearsome front door sized shit coming on.

He died a few days later. There wasn’t a funeral, but I threw him a wake, It was me, Big Charlie, my girlfriend at the time Seela, our dog Banjo with the three legs and gum infection, some others guys from the squat and crazy Red and his hammer Vanessa. I’d shoplifted a bottle of brown tequila, the nice stuff.

I held my shot of tequila in the air, and everyone did the same, and I said,

“One small step for man. One giant jump for mankind.”

We sank the shots and had an insane party. I got chased three suburbs by cops and cop dogs and everything with a mull plant down the front of my pants. Seela spent the night in the drunk tank for punching a police horse, and we all took a shit on the front door of the leagues club.

I just wish dad could have been there. It was probably the best wake he ever had.


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